It was Lily’s first day at her grandparents’ home. She was as happy as a lark and as agile as a monkey. She had a hearty meal, good playtime and a wonderful time with the two loving souls. With the hope of visiting them more often, she went back home with Alan, her Dad, but could not stop thinking about the next time she’d be there in the loving arms of her Grandpa in the play field and smell the odour of sweet buns being baked by her wrinkled Grandma who left no stone unturned to please her one and only grandchild.
Brenda had no reason to stop her daughter from visiting her grandparents at Harper’s Villa next week or as soon as possible but Alan did. He found his daughter’s visit to be tiresome for his ageing parents. Keeping their increased workload in mind he decided not to take Lily there for a week or two.
Lily, like a good girl did not irrespect her Dad’s decision and kept waiting patiently until next Friday. Ecstatic as ever she put on her pink frock, left her hair open and smiled at herself in the mirror.
Alan cried out loud,”Lily!We’re gettin’ late,dear.”
“Coming Papa!”,said Lily in a soft tone. Brenda kissed Lily’s hair sayjng,”Do not be a troublesome child,my dear.”
Alan looked at his wife and opened the passenger’s seat’s door. Liky hugged her mother and jumped into the car. Waving at her little one, Brenda turned to have a look at the lawn area when she saw something shining on the dusky road.
Bending down, she picked it up and identified the cross. It belonged to Lily. She must’ve dropped it while running. Brenda whispered a prayer and went back home.
Lily was a tender child, homeschooled and thirsty for knowledge. She had a great love for books,flowers,painting and traveling. On her way Lily asked Alan “Papa,why don’t you and Mama come along with me.We can stay there together.”
Alan kept quiet first and then spoke firmly but softly,”We’ll see to that later. Have a good time and do not be troublesome to them.”
Lily kept quite for the rest of the journey. Blinking a couple of times at the view of the tulip gardens,all she did was smile.
No sooner did the car stop at their destination than Lily jumped out and ran towards the Harper’s Villa.Alan smiled at his little one silently then stepped forward to greet his parents. Placing his hand on Alan’s head,Grandpa said,”Lord bless thee.” with a sweet smile. Alan smiled back in response when Grandma came out. Silently,Alan kissed both her cheeks and Grandma gave him a reassuring look. Lily ran into the house, giving space to the adults.
Grandpa sternly asked Alan,”Won’t you stay for a little while with us?We’ll make sure you don’t get bored.”
Alan laughed,Grandma joined in and added to the mirth,”Oh,dear. We wrinkled ones are worth a cup of tea.”
To which Alan responded,”I’ve work to do.” Saying that,he stepped forward to hug his loving parents. Stepping backwards,he waved at them and stopped before his car.
“Grandma,Grandpa ,you both are worth more than just having a cup of tea with.” reminded he with the brightest smile one could offer to their parents. Grandma waved sweetly and Grandpa put his arm around her.
“Where are you hiding,darling?”,asked Grandma.”It’s no time for hide and seek.Come and we shall have lunch.”,said Grandpa.
They sat at the dining table, thinking she’d come. But, she did not. At first, her grandparents thought she’d come but it was past five minutes Grandma left in order to look around for her.
Darling girl,where are you?”, she asked. She looked for Lily in the corridor opening each room but couldn’t find her anywhere. She walked towards the prayer area shouting her name. No response. She went upstairs and checked both the rooms. No trace of Lily. Grandma was sweaty and very worried by now.
Out of somewhere Lily appeared before Grandma with her head bowed and asked,”Are you looking for me,Old Grandma?” with an eerie tone which Grandma noticed quietly. Slowly,very slowly, she lifted her head raising Grandma’s fears to the extreme.